Love One Another And Do Your Job!

Agape

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”-Colossians 3:12-13*

The last installment of my love series is about agape love.  Agape is Greek for love.  The essence is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love.** As I see it, this is something which is extremely needed in today’s society.  There is too much hate, bigotry, and rudeness in this country and it saddens and disappoints me.  I am a firm believer change starts at the top, and those who exhibit positive behavior will influence others creating a chain reaction.  How can I affect a needed attitude adjustment to this madness?  I have decided to send an open letter to all my elected officials, who represent me, asking them to do the unbelievable; show agape love to one another and do their jobs which they were elected to perform.

Dear Elected Official,

Greetings from south Louisiana and thank you for taking time to read my letter.  I am compelled to write this because I am so disappointed in the state of our great nation.  I am an independent who believes our federal government has been given way too much power and my religious beliefs have been compromised way too often.  I personally don’t think the federal government should be running mail service for the country or establishing educational standards for our children.  I believe the federal government should protect its citizens from foreign threat, secure our borders, and strengthen our infrastructure.  I share this so you can understand although we may not agree on certain topics, I am willing to listen to your side and ask you give me the same courtesy; find the items we agree on, and reach a compromise which is win/win for both sides.

If I am not mistaken, this is why you were elected as a representative for our area.  One of the actions expected of you, in representing me, is to exhibit this type of positive behavior with the other elected officials.  Have you heard of agape love?  Agape is Greek for love by demonstrating goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight.  All Americans should insist on this type of role modeling from all elected officials.  As I see it, you are a paid employee of the American citizens and if you are not meeting the basic standards of handling debate and compromising for the good of all people, then you need to be voted out.

I have three simple suggestions for you and your cohorts:

  • Find common ground-I would think before any type of legislation is proposed, the committees who introduce it should find out what they can all agree on. I bet you could ask a Democratic or Republican if they want to protect their families, find affordable healthcare for all, and keep the illegal criminals from crossing our borders, they would all say yes!  Start there.  Discuss options on how to come to a proposal.  Where I come from this is called brainstorming.
  • Compromise-Start focusing on the ideas which could work. Discuss and debate in an adult manner.  No need to call names or point fingers if someone does not agree with you.  You should be paid for achieving results and up to this point, I don’t think many of you have earned a salary.  Compromise is about give and take.  Shoot for the stars and settle for the moon.  Your expectation should be to reach a reasonable solution from both sides.  I bet if both sides presented an option together, united in their proposal, and eager to stand behind it, the country would take notice.  An extra bonus might be the media focusing on something positive for a change.
  • Be Civil-The fact I have to even bring this up is embarrassing. Please give less fodder to the media who highlights your vulgar actions, disparaging threats, and disrespecting one another.  You, as an elected official, have a duty in representing the American citizens and should not be name calling, pointing fingers, or belittling other elected officials.  The last time I witnessed this type of immature behavior was when I was in high school.   You have been chosen by the people and should maintain goodwill and benevolence at all times (do unto others) and set the bar for the nation.

I know it might sound like I am lecturing you and in a way I am.  Think about all the young children, teens, and adults who are witnessing the actions of many of the elected officials in the federal government.  Is this the type of behavior we want our children to emulate?  This is probably another area where we can agree on and the answer is no.   I believe you should treat others as you would like to be treated.  Try and get to know someone personally and understand how it is to walk in their shoes.  Perhaps it may change your mind.

I will be praying and watching to see if you will be the one to start a positive trend in our capital.

Sincerely,

Kelsey Remmelts

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24*

* The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

**https://www.gotquestions.org/agape-love.html

 

We All Bleed Red

We All Bleed Red

I love my dogs. Between the two of them, they weigh about one hundred and thirty-five pounds.  For some reason, they think they are small creatures who love to get underfoot.  I have repeatedly yelled out their names as I trip over a body and crash to the floor.  And there they are, licking my face and forgiving me for hurting them in my uncoordinated fall and words of anger.

I can’t think of any creature on earth who demonstrates such unconditional love.  Our dogs do not care about a person’s gender, color, religion, or creed.  All they know is when they come in contact with a human being; they wag their tails discovering a new best friend.  As a human race, we can learn a lot from man’s best friend about how to treat one another.

God made us unique and diverse.  How boring would mankind be if we all looked, talked, thought, and acted alike?  I think the enemy wants to use our differences to divide us, from each other and God. Why can’t we embrace our differences and find common ground?   We all look vastly different on the outside, but if you opened us up, you would see we all bleed red.

We all share similar behaviors and traits known as a commonality.  First, we all sin.  Whether you believe in God or not, sin is part of our world, and we all partake in our fair share.   Second, we all have a family. It may not be a traditional family, but it is our inner circle where we can let our guard down and share, confide, laugh, and cry. Lastly, we have physical, mental, and spiritual needs.

My heart is so saddened by the polarizing of groups in our country.  Whether it is political, racial, or social commentary, I wonder what I can do to make a difference.  I have prayed about this and God has revealed three actions for me to focus my attention.

Change-There will always be those who I disagree with on a variety of topics.  It is not for me to change them to think as I do; I need to change.  I need to recognize our differences and respect those who don’t see the world as I do. I need to recognize we are all children of God and to accept and extend grace to those who do not concur with my beliefs.  A perfect example is the use of social media.  I try and screen carefully items I would put out there in internet land and resist from responding publicly to friends or family who state thoughts which are different from mine.   I need to treat others and their opinions with respect as I would like to be treated when expressing my views.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”-Psalm 139:23-24*

Cherish-I need to be thankful for my life and the people who are in it.  Life is too short to be mad and waste time on petty issues.  There are family members and friends who I need to reach out, forgive, and extend the olive branch.  It will not be easy, and it may not go according to my plan, but I know God would want me to make an attempt and try and bridge the chasms created by anger and pride.  I know there can be toxic relationships and I find myself praying for guidance and direction from Him.  If God nudges me to focus on mending the damage, then I know this is a relationship I need to embrace and nurture.   “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”-Colossians 3:13*

Challenge-God has asked me to step out of my comfort zone and volunteer and minister to those who are not like me.  Feeding the homeless has been a wake-up call to me and how I viewed people.  It was easy to sit in my comfortable air-conditioned house with a belly full of food and pass judgment on those who lived on the streets.  In my mind, they were addicts who threw it all away to get their next fix.  My opinions have changed drastically since feeding the homeless and learning about them as individuals.  Yes, there is addiction and mental illness, but they are people, who have stories, and want to be heard.  They are so appreciative of the meals we bring, along with clothing, books, bibles, glasses, and toiletries.  God has opened my eyes and shown me how to put aside my prejudices and see people for who they are, like me. –“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”-Proverbs 11:25*

We all have as much commonality as we do diversity.      tweet-graphic-4

I believe my true growth is to discover the importance of both facets and how to find common ground.  I do believe we could learn a little from our canine buddies about unconditional love and how to show it to others.  We may look different on the outside, but on the inside, we all have a heart and blood pumping through our veins.  Unlike my dogs, instead of wagging my tail, I will grace a smile to show my genuine acceptance of a new best friend.

*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

RESPECT Authority-It’s a Choice

Authority

When I first moved to Louisiana, I worked as a substitute teacher in my son’s school.  It was a way to get to know the faculty, parents, and students in our new town.  Most of the children were a delight; well-mannered, a yearning to learn, and a love for life.  But there are always a few unique individuals.  There was one young man who did not like to take direction from anyone.  I would ask him to do something and his response was “You’re not the boss of me!  You’re not a real teacher!”  Hmmm.  After a few failed attempts of re-directing him, I directed him to the principal’s office.

Why is it some of us have little respect for authority?  Why is our country full of adults who lack to respect others and those in positions of authority in the community?  It starts in our homes teaching our children to respect adults and people in authority roles (teachers, police officers, firefighters, judges, etc.)  The bible is quite clear on God’s definition of submitting to authority.  “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men; whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to the governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right “ 1Peter 13:13-14.  There is invariably someone at a higher level of authority.  Even as an American in the “free world”, there are rules and laws to be followed and if they are broken, you will deal with the fallout.  Authority is to be regarded and followed and if it not, then anarchy will prevail.

Reverence-It starts with submitting to God’s authority.

Educate-Teaching our youth to respect those who hold positions of authority.

Submit-Willing to acknowledge individuals in positions of authority.

Practice-Demonstrating acts of respect for people in positions of authority.

Entrust-Trusting for the overall authority group (The group is not represented by the actions of a few).

Consequences-Dealing with the results of not respecting authority.

Transform-Reaping the benefits of submitting and obeying to authority.

I know it is easy to lay it out on paper, but it takes a commitment from all to make the effort to teach our babies while they are young.  If we lead by example, perhaps the next generation could be influenced to have respect for others in authority roles.  As a Christian, I believe God is my authority role model.   Because He states I should submit myself to the authority instituted among men, I believe it to be true.  I will honor and RESPECT authority by my actions and words in my home, church, community, and in the Unites States of America.  Praise God we live in a country where freedom is prevalent.  In order for peace and harmony, there must be law and order.  Rules have to be followed and respect given to those who enforce the rules.  I choose to respect authority in my life.